William Hooker | LIGHT | The Early Years 1975-1989 | No Business Records

Light Box: Conception of William Hooker Don’t tell him he plays loud. He learned about music and his instrument playing within a tradition that straddles R&B and jazz. That tradition congeals in the smoothly accessible, yet sonically forceful music of the organ trios of the mid-sixties and it demanded amplitude. “An organ is powerful— a Hammond B3 with a Leslie tone cabinet. That’s a six foot cabinet. It’s got that swirly thing inside and you have to play with a certain amount of power,” — Thomas Stanley Continue reading

John Carter | Echoes from Rudolph’s | No Business Records

Echoes from Rudolph’s has topped my list of Albums Most in Need of Reissuing for the longest time. Not only is it one of clarinetist-composer John Carter’s greatest performances on record, it is also the only documentation of a critical period in the evolution of his art. It is the only album he made as a leader or co-leader between Secrets in 1972 and Variations in 1979. And it comes from the period in which he decided to discard his other horns and to focus exclusively on the clarinet. — Ed Hazell Continue reading

Rodrigo Amado | Joe McPhee | Kent Kessler | Chris Corsano | This Is Our Language | Not Two Records

Ornette Coleman released This Is Our Music in 1960, that title an assertion of achievement in making what was in many ways a much maligned music, the almost private practice of an excluded sub-group – free jazz musicians – within the already marginalized world of jazz. Perhaps above all, it was an assertion of rights to an original voice and musical speech. Declaring “This Is Our Language,” Rodrigo Amado marks both his kinship to Coleman and the rich tradition that has developed in free jazz since then, the intense sense of a still close-knit discourse community that has somehow expanded around the world. — Stuart Broomer Continue reading

Dan Clucas | Mark Weaver | Dave Wayne | Hotend | Do Tell play the music of Julius Hemphill | Amirani Records

Julius Hemphill’s music is about digging under the facts, pulling out the stops, revealing the insides, telling the truth. His groove-oriented pieces (Steppin’, The Hard Blues, Otis Groove) seem to be a function of his having internalized the essence of the blues, so that the feeling, the ache of that music, is imbedded in the soul of these songs. Contrarily, his more compositional side is less about rhythm and more about sound, timbre, and tone. But always, his compositions value improvisation; even his most thoroughly notated works call for the musicians to collectively improvise within the parameters of that piece and there again lies the spirit of the blues in Julius Hemphill’s music, which is perhaps the most revealing truth of all. Continue reading